Top 10 Steps to Increased Personal Resilience – Part 3:
The word “resilience” comes from the Latin word “resilíre,” which literally means, “To leap back” or as I like to say, “spring back from”. Resilience helps to grow from and beyond the challenging and uncertain things in our lives. Knowing how to “spring back” from adversity and life challenges is something that all of us can do. Here are the last three of the Top 10 Steps to help you increase your capacity for personal resilience.
8. Unknown Only Means Opportunity
We hear people reference “being open” to things, changes, possibilities and so on – but I am not sure many of these folks really understand what being open to something means. Yes it means to listen/consider something you typically would not – but this suggests an other or alternative. Being open really means to whatever can be – without necessarily knowing. There is a tendency for us to back-fill an unknown with the absolute worst possible scenario we can and then commit to building a strategy to thwart it. Why expect the worst without any reason, cause or actual information to suggest it? For all the bad in the universe you are aware of – there are mountains more of good that you are not. Allow yourself the opportunity for something new and wonderful to surprise you. Back-filling with assumptions and fear doesn’t protect you – more times than not, it takes from you.
9. Compassion with Community
There is an old saying that goes, “there is no better way to know how much you have than to help someone who has less.” Acts of service are a vital part of our spiritual resilience. Engaging in acts of kindness, with intention, towards others others has an impressive impact on our mood and even our chemistry. Charity and service are also important lessons in character development and I would even say in maintaining it. Join a youth group service day, rally your employer to support staff volunteering for a day at a local food bank, sign up to be a docent at the local museum, zoo or hospital – or go solo and just join the annual beach clean up round up. If you Google “volunteer” and your city’s name – you’ll likely be amazed at what is out there.
True giving, without any expectation, brings back so much to us. Altruism really is more of a lofty goal or ideal – but we strive to be as close to it as possible here. While a part of us knows we will get “good feeling” from giving – make a point to not take other benefit from this. In these efforts there is no place for ego or acknowledgement or being credited in some way. It helps to be anonymous or part of a serving group if possible.
10. Voice Your Gratitude – specific and frequently
At first look this may seem a lot like #6, so bear with me. Scribe and Herald are a bit different in that they focus on a set time and can be alone or with a confidant – this is a more public and shared action. It’s important to get into the habit – really making it a habit – to state and share your gratitude outwardly. Tell your friend how much you appreciate your spouse and how lucky you are to have them. Tell your co-worker about your favorite uncle and what you appreciated about how they contributed to your life. Share with your neighbors or friends how you overcame a major illness or challenge in your life and how you will forever be grateful for it. Sharing our gratitude inspires it in those around us and soon we are all hearing more and more of what to be joyful about instead of complaining about the minutia of everyday challenges. There is a deli attendant in my neighborhood that upon being asked how she is doing always answers that she is blessed and one reason why. She’s got me answering her with one too. (I gotta thank her…and I will this weekend.)
Ideas of entitlement have all but killed off “thank you” in the common exchanges in commerce and community – at least in some areas. But it’s very easy to restore. Thank the waiter – even if it wasn’t the best service. Tip the grocery sacker – something. If you can’t – then reach out and shake there hand and tell them. A bit of personal humility doesn’t push you down – it raises you up. If you know a teacher – any teacher – please, tell them how much we need them and how much they matter. (And if you are a fellow parent – please remember, you are the most responsible for raising your children and you wouldn’t likely raise someone else’s for what a teacher makes!) Look over your day and see the list of people that in some way or action – served you. Commit to letting them know you appreciate them.
Top 10 Steps to Increased Personal Resilience
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